Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Readings for Sunday, January 22, 2017

Hello Everyone,

The last two Sundays I have asked you to think and pray about someone who would benefit from being part of our worship and fellowship. Have you asked them yet? If not, why not? If not, how about asking them tomorrow? From the last two weeks we have learned that the heavens have been opened for all and we need to invite those who don't know Jesus to come and see for themselves.

This, of course, reminds us of the Worship Series we are currently in; "The Great Invitation". We are all invited to participate in God's Kingdom, God's Reign, here on earth. We, in turn, need to extend that invitation to others so they may experience and know the joy of following Jesus. This week's theme is "Follow Me". As we follow we invite others to follow.

Isaiah 9:1-4 – Isaiah has a vision of a new king who will lead the people in a new, more glorious light. On that day the chains (yoke, bar, rod) that enslave us will be broken. Matthew quotes this passage in the reading below.

Psalm 27:1, 4-9 – The Psalmist is assured that the Lord will protect him and not abandon him in all his trials. In the verses that are not included in this reading, the psalmists states that he has enemies who are after him and he pleads with God to not be abandoned. In the last verse the psalmist restates his conviction that he will see the Lord's goodness in the midst of the living.

1 Corinthians 1:10-18 – After his introduction Paul sets out what he hopes to accomplish with his letter – unity. There are factions in the church each claiming the authority of one person or another. Paul wants to reestablish Christ, the message of the cross, as the only authority. 

Matthew 4:12-23 – Jesus begins his ministry after three events: his baptism, his temptation in the wilderness, and when he hears that John the Baptizer has been arrested and thrown into prison. Matthew connects this with the Prophet Isaiah's words in our reading above. Jesus goes to the shore of the lake and calls four fishermen to follow him. Matthew reports that they “immediately left their fathers and their boats to go with Jesus." If Jesus calls us to follow him, can we, in turn, invite others to follow Jesus? Also, why did you follow? What is your story?

Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary

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